Man About Menifee: Day Camps Are Valuable Opportunities

By David Baker

When I started with the Boy Scouts of America as a boy, I was in the fourth grade, which meant I was in Webelos (WE’ll BE Loyal Scouts). A short explanation is that these are senior Cub Scouts getting ready for Boy Scouts. What this meant for me was that my Cub Scout experiences were fairly minimal, and I went straight into the "traditional" scouting experiences like hiking, camping, and emergency preparedness.

When my oldest son Nikk, now 18, reached first grade, he brought home a flier from school announcing a scout recruitment night. We went and signed him up as a Tiger Cub (First Grader / 6 years old) and so I re-entered the world of scouting as a parent, and it really was a whole new world.

I was learning many things about the scouting program for the first time, considering I had never been a Tiger, Wolf or Bear (first, second, or third grade) Cub Scout. One of the biggest things that I realized I missed out on was Day Camp.

There are many youth organizations that host day camps, or three to five days of various activity stations with kids learning different facts, skills, or other points of interest. The reason they are called day camps, of course, is that parents bring their children for the day and not overnight. These camps are perfect for the younger urban crowd that might not be entirely accustomed to the outdoors.

My middle son Jeremiah, 9, just came back from the week-long Cub Scout Inland Empire 3 Peaks Day Camp, which ended Thursday. He spent all week at the Orange Empire Railway Museum, which is open to the public, doing activities such as Archery, B.B. gun shooting, learning the history of the railway, and making arts and crafts. He had a blast and I was blessed to get to go with him on Thursday for the day as a volunteer.

This location is very interesting and I encourage anyone with children to check it out at least once. In the fall they even have a "Thomas the Tank Engine" train ride for the little Sproutlets. For more info, visit their website.

For those who didn’t make it to Cub Scout Day Camp, or aren’t involved in scouting currently, never fear. This was not the only day camp in the Menifee area, just the most recent one. Starting this week and going through Aug. 9, M.A.R.S. is hosting free day camps at area parks throughout the summer as well. Any Monday or Thursday, head down to La Ladera Park before 9 a.m. and register your child. Besides, if your house is anything like mine, by the third week of June, you’re ready for August to get here already, so anything that gets the kids unplugged and outdoors engaging their brain is a good thing to me.

David Baker, our Man About Menifee, writes about his adventures in and around town every Friday in this space. You may leave comments for him here or email him at


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